‘Mercy’, by Matthias Glasner


October 21, 2012 by Me and My Monkeys

For a large portion of Mercy, something bad is about to happen.

Despite a well-crafted setting of the scene, it is tempting to bail out before the action begins. The arctic winter isn’t the only thing that is painfully slow, dark and emotionless. But of course that is what everything is supposed to be. A desensitized calm before a quiet storm.

The family of protagonists is not so much dysfunctional as vacant and inter-disconnected.

When the anticipated moment hits, there is no option but to take on the confusion, guilt and remorse that is played out on screen. What would we do? What makes a good person? Are we defined by our actions or our thoughts?

The dominant character arc is that of Niels, whose journey we follow – reluctantly – to the point of empathy, compassion and respect.

While much of the film comes as no surprise, the extent to which Glasner reels us in is impressive.

After a forced journey through physical and emotional darkness, Glasner at least shows some mercy by making his audience feel alright in the end.

Recommended? Yes, but not for a joyride.

Out of 10? Builds gradually to a solid 8, notwithstanding a final frame that is a little twee.

My monkeys suggest:

  • Watch Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter and Sean Penn’s The Crossing Guard.

2 thoughts on “‘Mercy’, by Matthias Glasner

  1. octopusluke says:

    I found that closing scene absolutely infuriating! Nice review.

  2. Agree! Was such a shame. Also enjoyed your post – thanks for commenting.

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